Soba Noodles and Broccoli Slaw with Asian Peanut Sauce

January 24, 2016 By: Megabeth Category: Main Dishes

Soba Noodles and Slaw in Asian Peanut SauceSometimes you come home from work and you don’t feel like doing a lot of cooking. In fact, you pretty much don’t even want to make a cooking mess because you know you’ll just have to clean it up. This recipe uses only one pot! And, it’s ready to go in about 10 minutes flat. Seriously.  Cook the soba noodles, whisk up the rest of the ingredients, combine with the slaw and you’ve got a nice weekday meal.

Soba Noodles and Broccoli Slaw with Asian Peanut Sauce
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Easy-to-make Asian inspired meal can be made in no time flat!
Recipe type: Vegetarian
  • 8 oz soba noodles
  • 3 Tablespoons chunky peanut butter
  • 2 Tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
  • 2 Tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • ½ teaspoon chili paste with garlic
  • 1 cup pre-shredded broccoli slaw
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
  1. Cook soba noodles per package directions.
  2. Whisk the the peanut butter, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, ginger, honey and chili paste together in a bowl.
  3. Drain soba noodles and rinse with cold water, place in large bowl and add broccoli slaw in with noodles.
  4. Stir in whisked sauce and garnish with sesame seeds. Serve warm or chilled.



Veggin’ Cookbook Chronicles: Poor Person’s Sukiyaki

July 03, 2010 By: Megabeth Category: Cookbook Chronicle Challenge, Main Dishes

The title of my next cookbook is a novel in itself: From a Monastery Kitchen: A practical cookbook of vegetarian recipes for the four seasons complete from soups to desserts with breads. This cookbook, written in 1976, was inspired by a visit to a monastery in the Hudson Valley. The recipes were compiled by Elise Boulding with the assistance of Brother Victor Avila.

Divided by season, each section features starters to deserts. Illustrations are more whimsical and have nothing to do with the final dish.

Each recipe is framed with, as the author describes it, “a collage of quotations and art that is intended to reflect the nearly two-thousand-year-old experience of monastic life as an affirmation of wholeness, simplicity, and joy.” Many are good reading while you are waiting for your pot to boil or your food to cook.

These are a few the struck a cord with me:

“A little Madness in the Spring is wholesome even for the King” – Emily Dickinson

“Many’s the long night I dreamed of cheese – toasted, mostly” – Robert Louis Stevenson

“Many excellent cooks are spoiled by going into the arts” – Gauguin

“The bigger the dairymaid, the better the cheese” – Derbyshire Proverb

This is a strange yet fascinating little cookbook. The instructions and recipes are simple but sometimes basic steps or directions are missing. For example, one recipe begins, “cook the apples, using as little water as possible, sweetening at the end of cooking”. How am I cooking the apples? In a pan? In a skillet? In the oven? How long am I cooking them?

This is a primarily vegetarian cookbook but there are a few fish dishes included. The index is divided by type of dish such as “egg and cheese dish”, “pancake and cereal dishes”, “vegetable dishes”. The listings underneath are by recipe title. So, if you don’t know what Beans Bengal contains, you have to flip to the recipe page. (By the way, it’s yellow split peas, cheddar cheese, curry powder, onion, green pepper, olive oil and seedless raisins).

There is also a page of “useful culinary instructions” with some interesting tidbits about how to make “hi-protein matzo balls” (“Follow recipe on box, double egg and add wheat germ.”) and a heading called “Curry” (“Is very digestible. (OK for persons with ulcers!) Use in white sauces.)” I did learn how to “pseudosaute” with the instructions appearing at the end of the recipe below.

I did find that there is a new edition of the cookbook printed in 2002. Looking through it, there are fewer quotations and excerpts, and the recipes are updated. (I compared the chickpea soup recipe and the instructions changed from, “Boil, in plenty of water, until soft. Chop vegetables and simmer together with seasonings. Combine with cooked chickpeas and serve as soup.” to, “Add the remaining ingredients and cook slowly over medium heat for about an hour, until chickpeas and vegetables are tender.”)

I found that in the 1976 edition, while some of the recipes are a bit simple, they do sort of provide a foundation for elaboration. And, most a pretty adaptable, like this recipe. The recipe reads as if someone is verbally telling giving you the recipe and giving approximations a la “you can throw a little bit of this, and a little bit of that and then cook it. ” So, I decided to do just that.

Instead of rice, I used risotto. I omitted the beans and used a smoked tofu instead of regular tofu. (If you haven’t used smoked tofu before, run out and get some, it adds depth to any dish and provided a sort of, dare I say, “meaty” flavor.) Towards the end of cooking, I just ended up throwing in all the mushrooms I had and could also see throwing in steamed broccoli, snap peas and other asian vegetables into the sauce. I think the key with this dish is that if you’re adding vegetables, precook them and then drench them with the sauce.

Poor Person’s Sukiyaki
From a Monastery Kitchen, 1976 edition

  • 1 cup scallions or onions finely sliced
  • 1/2 cup light cooking sherry or sweet wine
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 2 cups fresh spinach or well-drained frozen (any steamed greens can be substituted)
  • 2 cups mushrooms, if available, other vegetables can be added
  • sugar to taste if desired
  • soy bean curd (tofu) cut in squares (if available)
  • 4 cups cooked or 1 1/2 cups uncooked rice (or any combination of rice and beans such as blackeye peas and rice, pinto beans and rice, etc.)

Cook scallions or onions according to the “pseudosauteing method” (see below).

Add sherry and soy sauce and stir.

Add spinach and other vegetables. Simmer 3 or 4 minutes. Add a little sugar as sauce cooks, if desired.

Remove from heat. Add tofu and pour mixture over rice or rice and bean combination. Other vegetables can be added. Amounts of all ingredients can be varied. Serves 6 to 8.

“Pseudosauteing technique”: delicious and healthy To give a sauteed taste without indigestibility of fried foods: instead of sauteing in butter or oils, cook in just enough slightly sugared water or broth so that when fully cooked water is all absorbed and fod is beginning to stick to the pan and burn a little. Quickly pour in a little cold-pressed oil; stir it up well and scrape all the brown which had begun to burn. (This retains all the vitamins from vegetables and oil, uses oil as seasoning, and still gives the sauteed taste. Recommended for carrots, greens, potatoes, parsnips, onions, string beans, broccoli, etc.) People who can’t digest fried foods can eat these. Salt and pepper to taste after cooking.

Veggin’ Cookbook Chronicles: Grilled Broccoli with Lemon-Soy Marinade

June 21, 2010 By: Megabeth Category: Side Dishes

“Veggies are a grill’s best friend,” so says the back of my next cookbook. Indeed. I’ve made many a recipe from The New Vegetarian Grill from Andrea Chesman and it still hasn’t steered me wrong. My edition is from 2008. This cookbook features 250 “flame-kissed recipes for fresh, inspired meals” according to its subtitle.

The beginning of the book features grilling tips and advice and the various methods for outdoor cooking and grilling indoors. The author intersperses more tips throughout the book. Some are relevant to the recipe on the same page while others sort of randomly appear. If you don’t read carefully you might miss some good tips.

There are no photos or illustrations in the book but the descriptions do well to describe the flavors of the dish. Also, read the recipe completely through, not all of them are suitable for making at a cookout. Some require some initial preparation on the grill and the rest of the dish has to be made back in the kitchen.

There are several veggie burger recipes but also unexpected items such as my next recipe – Soy-grilled Broccoli. When was the last time you saw someone grill broccoli? I’d say never. But, that will now change. This dish came out very well. The broccoli holds up well to the high heat, gets browned and crispy, and the marinade quite strong flavored.

Soy-Grilled Broccoli
3 stalks broccoli
1/2 cup Lemon-Soy marinade (recipe below)

Prepare a medium-hot fire in the grilled with a lightly oiled vegetable grill rack in place.

Trim the broccoli by stripping away the leaves and tough outter peel. (Note: I used my vegetable peeler to clean off the peel.) Cut the stems into thin strips or slice on the diagonal about 1/4 inch thick. Separate the florets into bite-size pieces. Pour the marinade over the broccoli

and toss to coat.

Lift the broccoli out of the marinade with a slotted spoon or tongs and grill, tossing frequently, until tender and grill-marked, about 5 minutes.

Serve hot. Pour any leftover marinade into a small pitcher and pass at the table with the broccoli.

Lemon-Soy Marinade
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup sesame oil
6 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
4 garlic cloves, minced

Combine the soy sauce, water, sesame oil, lemon juice, and garlic in an airtight jar and shake well. Alternatively, combine the ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. This dressing separates quickly, so be sure to shake it just before using.

Use immediately or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.

Makes about 1 3/4 cups

34 Simple (Vegetarian) Meals Ready in 10 Minutes or Less

October 05, 2009 By: Megabeth Category: Article, Main Dishes


In 2007, the New York Times wrote an article called Summer Express: 101 Simple Meals Ready in 10 Minutes or Less. I’ve held on to the article (yes, from the actual newspaper) and just came across it again in a massive desk clean-up. So, rather than hiding it back into a deep dark drawer, I figured I’d list some of the ideas here.

In the original, the majority of the dishes included meat (mostly fish), but there were many on there that are vegetarian or vegan. I’ve also included several that were easy to substitute with a faux meat. Many of these dishes can be prepared if you are good about keeping the basics in your pantry. (For a refresher check out my list of what every vegetarian should have in their kitchen.)

So, without further ado, here are 34 simple vegetarian meals ready in 10 minutes or less.

1. Make six-minute eggs: Simmer gently, run under cold water until cool, then peel. Serve over steamed asparagus.
2. Toss a cup of chopped mixed herbs with a few tablespoons of olive oil in a hot pan. Serve over angel-hair pasta, diluting the sauce if necessary with pasta cooking water.
3. Make pesto: put a couple of cups of basil leaves, a garlic clove, salt, pepper and olive oil as necessary in a blender (walnuts and Parmesan are optional). Serve over pasta (dilute with oil or water as necessary).

IMG_89184. Gazpacho: Combine one pound tomatoes cut into chunks, a cucumber peeled and cut into chunks, two or three slices stale bread torn into pieces, a quarter-cup olive oil, two tablespoons sherry vinegar and a clove of garlic in a blender with one cup water and couple of ice cubes. Process until smooth, adding water if necessary. Season with salt and pepper, then serve or refrigerate, garnished with a little more olive oil.
5. Soak couscous in boiling water to cover until tender; top with tomatoes, parsley, olive oil and black pepper.
6. Chinese tomato and eggs: Cook minced garlic in peanut oil until blond; add chopped tomatoes then, a minute later, beaten eggs, along with salt and pepper. Scramble with a little soy sauce.
7. Cut eggplant into half-inch slices. Broil with lots of olive oil, turning once, until tender and browned. Top with crumbled goat or feta cheese and broil another 20 seconds.

IMG_35388. While pasta cooks, combine a couple cups chopped tomatoes, a teaspoon or more minced garlic, olive oil and 20 to 30 basil leaves. Toss with pasta, salt, pepper and Parmesan.


9. Egg in a hole, glorified: Tear a hole in a piece of bread and fry in butter. Crack an egg into the hole. Deglaze pan with a little sherry vinegar mixed with water, and more butter; pour over egg.
10. Quesadilla: Use a combination of cheeses, like Fontina mixed with grated pecorino. Put on half of a large flour tortilla with pickled jalapenos, chopped onion, shallot or scallion, chopped tomatoes and grated radish. Fold tortilla over and brown on both sides in butter or oil, until cheese is melted.
11. Fast chile rellenos: Drained canned whole green chilies. Make a slit in each and insert a piece of cheese. Dredge in flour and fry in skillet slit side up, until cheese melts.
12. Saute 10 whole peeled garlic cloves in olive oil. Meanwhile, grate pecorino, grind lots of black pepper, chop parsley and cook pasta. Toss all together, along with crushed dried chili flakes and salt.
13. Cold soba with dipping sauce: Cook soba noodles, then rinse in cold water until cool. Serve with a sauce of soy sauce and minced ginger diluted with mirin and/or dry sake.

IMG_099514. Fried rice: Soften vegetables with oil in a skillet. Add cold take-out rice, chopped onion, garlic, ginger, peas and two beaten eggs. Toss until hot and cooked through. Season with soy sauce and sesame oil.
15. Taco salad: Toss together greens, chopped tomato, chopped red onion, sliced avocado, a small can of black beans and kernels from a couple of ears of corn. Toss with crumbled tortilla chips and grated cheese. Dress with olive oil, lime and chopped cilantro leaves.


16. Migas, with egg: Saute chopped stale bread with olive oil, mushrooms, onions and spinach. Stir in a couple of eggs.
17. Saute shredded (or sliced) zucchini in olive oil, adding garlic and chopped herbs. Serve over pasta.


18. Not takeout: Stir-fry onions with cut-up broccoli. Add cubed tofu along with a tablespoon each minced garlic and ginger. When almost done, add half cup of water, two tablespoons soy sauce and plenty of black pepper. Heat through and serve over fresh Chinese noodles.


19. The Waldorf: Toast a handful of walnuts in a skillet. Chop an apple or pear; toss with greens, walnuts and a dressing made with olive oil, sherry vinegar, Dijon mustard and shallot. Top if you like, with crumbled goat or blue cheese.
20. Put a stick of butter and a handful of pine nuts in a skillet. Cook over medium heat until both are brown. Toss with cooked pasted, grated Parmesan and black pepper.
21. Put a tablespoon of cream and a slice of tomato in each of several small ramekins. Top with an egg, then salt, pepper, ad grated Parmesan. Bake at 350 degrees until the eggs set. Serve with toast.
22. Make a fast tomato sauce of olive oil, chopped tomatoes and garlic. Poach eggs in the sauce, then top with Parmesan.


23. Peel and thinly slice raw beets; cook in butter or oil with garlic; do not overcook. Finish with parsley, lemon juice and coarse salt; serve over toast.
24. Rich vegetable soup: Cook asparagus tips and peeled stalks or most any other green vegetable in [vegetable] stock with a little tarragon until tender; reserve a few tips and puree the rest with a little butter (cream or yogurt, too, if you like) adding enough stock to thin the puree. Garnish with the reserved tips. Serve hot or cold.
25. Brush portobello caps with olive oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper and broil until tender. Briefly sweat chopped onions, then scramble eggs with them. Put eggs in mushrooms.
26. Near instant mezze: Combine hummus on plate with yogurt laced with chopped cucumbers and a bit of garlic, plus tomato, feta, white beans with olive oil and pita bread.
27. Sear corn kernels in olive oil with minced jalapenos and chopped onions; toss with cilantro, black beans, chopped tomatoes, chopped bell pepper and lime.


28. Pit and chop a cup or more of mixed olives. Combine with olive oil, a little minced garlic, red pepper flakes and chopped basil or parsley. Serve over pasta.
29. Grated carrots topped with six-minute eggs (run under cold water until cool before peeling), olive oil and lemon juice.
30. Cut off the top of four big tomatoes; scoop out the interior and mix them with toasted stale baguette or pita, olive oil, salt, pepper and herbs (basil, tarragon, and/or parsley). Stuff into tomatoes and serve with salad.
31. Pasta frittata: Turn cooked pasta and a little garlic into an oiled or buttered skillet. Brown, pressing to create a cake. Flip, then top with three or four beaten eggs and loads of Parmesan. Brown other side and serve.
32. Ketchup-braised tofu: Dredge large tofu cubes in flour. [Megabeth note: press and drain tofu to get excess liquid out before using.] Brown in oil; remove from skillet and wipe skillet clean. Add a little more oil, then a tablespoon minced garlic; 30 seconds later, add one and a half cups ketchup and the tofu. Cook until sauce bubbles and tofu is hot.
33. Veggie burger: Drain and pour a 14-ounce can of beans into a food processor with an onion, half a cup of rolled oats, a tablespoon chili powder or other spice mix, an egg, salt and pepper. Process until mushy, then shape into burgers, adding a little liquid or oats as necessary. Cook in oil about three minutes a side and serve.
34. So-called Fettuccine Alfredo: Heat several tablespoons of butter and about half a cup of cream in a large skillet just until the cream starts to simmer. Add slightly undercooked fresh pasta to the skillets, along with plentuy of grated Parmesan. Cook over low heat, tossing, until pasta is tender and hot.

Related Posts Widget for Blogs by LinkWithin